Three Impure Spirits
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Three Impure Spirits
(Revelation 16.12-13)
Page 225

"The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet." (Revelation 16.12-13)

False Prophet

Green Frog on LeafAccording to this passage, three impure or unclean spirits emerged like frogs from the three mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They were described as the three impure spirits. In the Greek, there is a play on words here. The "frog spirits" came out of the mouths of the evil forces. The mouth is the organ of speech which was and is obviously one of the most powerful forces in the world either for good or for evil. What was said and how it was said were tremendously important and could hurt or encourage other people.

Unholy Trinity

Unholy TrinityThe Greek word for "spirit" as in "three impure spirits" is "pneuma" which means "to breath". We recognize this in the word "pneumatic" connected to a "tire filled with air." The equivalent Latin word is "spiritus" or "spirare" and the Hebrew word is "ruach" which in itself sounds like the air being breathed out. To say, therefore, that an evil spirit came out of a person's mouth was the same as saying that a word was spoken which was intended for evil. The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet all "breathed forth evil influences," wrote H. B. Swete (1835-1917) the English Biblical scholar "like the three frogs, an unholy trinity."

Plague of Frogs

Plagues of EgyptFrog spirits are often connected with plagues. One of the ten plagues in Egypt in Moses time was a plague of frogs. Psalm 78.45 read, "He (God) sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them." Frogs were impure creatures according to the Jewish Law and eating them was strictly prohibited. Although not mentioned by name, frogs were implied in the list of unclean things in the water and the seas which were not permitted as food by the Jews as they had no scales. Leviticus 11.10 read, "But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales — whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water — you are to regard as unclean."

Meaningless Croaks

Frogs on Lily PadsCroaking frogs were also especially disliked for their annoying and continuous noise. The sound a frog made was like meaningless speech. To say that frog spirits "came out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet" was to say that their garbled words were meaningless as well as impure and harmful.

"Three Impure Spirits"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

^Top Page Next Previous